Evidence and the Supernatural

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Evidence and the Supernatural

In response to Caposkia's request, I've started this thread in the hopes that the conversation will actually progress somewhere. 

The topic of this conversation is very simple. 

- show me evidence for the existence of a spiritual world, basically, any world other than this one.

- evidence for the existence of a "soul."

- existence of some "creator" or "higher power."

etc.

I am pretty lenient on what is evidence: refer to a scientific journal with an article discussing evidence for the supernatural (even theist websites are okay, but it better be good. Not AIG), some aspect of nature or life that requires an outside force, valid philosophical argument, and even anecdotal evidence. 

Oh, if I start seeing stereotypical, lame arguments like the fine tuning argument, every painting has a painter, appeal to fear or guilt, argument from morality, argument from faith, I'm going to be royally pissed.    

I hope I have made this clear.

 

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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caposkia wrote:Anyone look

caposkia wrote:

Anyone look into Lee Strobel yet?

http://caseagainstfaith.com/

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
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jcgadfly wrote:caposkia

jcgadfly wrote:

caposkia wrote:

Anyone look into Lee Strobel yet?

http://caseagainstfaith.com/

I of course didn't read through the whole link, but checked out the section on "The case for Faith" be it that it was a book I more recently had read. 

I see his point about weak arguments and the fact that it seems Lee gave in too easily.   when reading through the book I myself thought the same thing and figured no legit person who was actually set out to prove Christianity wrong would just settle on the simple matter of facts that were stated.  I thought though it was really just my own critiques getting in the way.  I'm quite particular about why I believe what I do and would expect a better explanation myself. 

I thought he might have something until I read further.  Turns out he was expecting critiques from both sides entertaining the gaps in each explanation and further explanation into each critique. 

I understand that the book could have been a little more thorough, but it is just a book.  The truth is, each topic brought up in the book, to fully satisfy the critical world would have needed to each be a book themselves. 

It is my understanding (and I could be wrong) that there was a lot more to it than just what was written in the book.  In putting the pages together I'm sure Lee was taking into consideration the general public and how much they could tolerate before tossing the book down in frustration because they got lost or were overwhelmed with too much detail and information.  I'm sure he also considered the idea of sales and other personal factors.

The topics of the book were also very focused.  Lee didn't go into extreme detail about how he analized each and every interview in his own head.  It's not what the book was about.  I'm sure if asked, he'd have a lot to say about each. (again, going on assumptions).  These assumptions are of course taking into consideration the fact that I can't see anyone who is truly bent on disproving Christianity giving in so easily.  I just don't see that happening.  I could be wrong. 

your thoughts?

 


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caosijkia, thre isn o god.

caosijkia, thre isn o god. hes just nto therew. he dosent htae yuo and hes nto bettr than you and hes not goinh g to snde perple to hekk. youu jud thav to had fun and not nhuyt peuopl and lovd peoplw.

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


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caposkia wrote:The Bible has

caposkia wrote:

The Bible has what is right in it and what is wrong.  What is Good and what is bad.  If it didn't, then I would have to agree with most non-believers attempts to conform my belief to nothing more than a fairytale. 

If everything was good and right, then there wouldn't be sin, we wouldn't be christians because Christ wouldnt' have had to come... and we could all be happy happy joy joy all day.

I think we've found, through the vicious inspiration of my drunken haze, where we diverge in plain and simple terms: you believe in good and evil as absolutes, and I do not. You believe, for instance, that there is sin. That there is good and bad, and those two terms are comprehensive for all moral discussion.

I cannot believe that in a world of biological composition that we can have moral absolutes. It cannot be shown that your version of a deity is more valid than those of the Romans and Greeks, or those of the Mesopotamians. Each group has had a claim to ultimate and immutable truth regarding the unknown, and each is regarded by the other as pure superstition.

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caposkia wrote:jcgadfly

caposkia wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

caposkia wrote:

Anyone look into Lee Strobel yet?

http://caseagainstfaith.com/

I of course didn't read through the whole link, but checked out the section on "The case for Faith" be it that it was a book I more recently had read. 

I see his point about weak arguments and the fact that it seems Lee gave in too easily.   when reading through the book I myself thought the same thing and figured no legit person who was actually set out to prove Christianity wrong would just settle on the simple matter of facts that were stated.  I thought though it was really just my own critiques getting in the way.  I'm quite particular about why I believe what I do and would expect a better explanation myself. 

I thought he might have something until I read further.  Turns out he was expecting critiques from both sides entertaining the gaps in each explanation and further explanation into each critique. 

I understand that the book could have been a little more thorough, but it is just a book.  The truth is, each topic brought up in the book, to fully satisfy the critical world would have needed to each be a book themselves. 

It is my understanding (and I could be wrong) that there was a lot more to it than just what was written in the book.  In putting the pages together I'm sure Lee was taking into consideration the general public and how much they could tolerate before tossing the book down in frustration because they got lost or were overwhelmed with too much detail and information.  I'm sure he also considered the idea of sales and other personal factors.

The topics of the book were also very focused.  Lee didn't go into extreme detail about how he analized each and every interview in his own head.  It's not what the book was about.  I'm sure if asked, he'd have a lot to say about each. (again, going on assumptions).  These assumptions are of course taking into consideration the fact that I can't see anyone who is truly bent on disproving Christianity giving in so easily.  I just don't see that happening.  I could be wrong. 

your thoughts?

 

Strobel is an apologist who only intended to write one side of the story. That he claims to be unbiased and intentionally plays the skeptic poorly is deceitful.

He reminds me of a author who tells his subject that he wants to write an unbiased  biography of them but only interviews people who want the subject dead.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


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HisWillness wrote:I think

HisWillness wrote:

I think we've found, through the vicious inspiration of my drunken haze, where we diverge in plain and simple terms: you believe in good and evil as absolutes, and I do not. You believe, for instance, that there is sin. That there is good and bad, and those two terms are comprehensive for all moral discussion.

I cannot believe that in a world of biological composition that we can have moral absolutes. It cannot be shown that your version of a deity is more valid than those of the Romans and Greeks, or those of the Mesopotamians. Each group has had a claim to ultimate and immutable truth regarding the unknown, and each is regarded by the other as pure superstition.

my belief however is that it can be shown actually.  Read "The Next Christiandom".  So far, from what I've seen, each religion out there that has a percievable history has a single person or group of people behind it's foundation and inspiration. 

The difference with Christ as a single person is 90% of the other single people (that I have seen in my research) never claimed to be divine in any way and usually claimed to be talking to angels or is a prophet. 


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jcgadfly wrote:Strobel is an

jcgadfly wrote:

Strobel is an apologist who only intended to write one side of the story. That he claims to be unbiased and intentionally plays the skeptic poorly is deceitful.

He reminds me of a author who tells his subject that he wants to write an unbiased  biography of them but only interviews people who want the subject dead.

I guess that's possible.  I haven't really done much research into his motives.  All I understand is that he originally set out to publish "The Case for Faith" as a book to finally and concretely disprove the Christian God.  I would assume there was more to his conversion than just what's in the book. 


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caposkia wrote:jcgadfly

caposkia wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

Strobel is an apologist who only intended to write one side of the story. That he claims to be unbiased and intentionally plays the skeptic poorly is deceitful.

He reminds me of a author who tells his subject that he wants to write an unbiased  biography of them but only interviews people who want the subject dead.

I guess that's possible.  I haven't really done much research into his motives.  All I understand is that he originally set out to publish "The Case for Faith" as a book to finally and concretely disprove the Christian God.  I would assume there was more to his conversion than just what's in the book. 

If you actually believe that, I've got a bridge to sell you - it's in Brooklyn. I take that Strobel story as seriously as I take McDowell's story about ETDAV.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


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caposkia wrote:HisWillness

caposkia wrote:

HisWillness wrote:

I think we've found, through the vicious inspiration of my drunken haze, where we diverge in plain and simple terms: you believe in good and evil as absolutes, and I do not. You believe, for instance, that there is sin. That there is good and bad, and those two terms are comprehensive for all moral discussion.

I cannot believe that in a world of biological composition that we can have moral absolutes. It cannot be shown that your version of a deity is more valid than those of the Romans and Greeks, or those of the Mesopotamians. Each group has had a claim to ultimate and immutable truth regarding the unknown, and each is regarded by the other as pure superstition.

my belief however is that it can be shown actually.

Alright, I'll bite - how?

caposkia wrote:
So far, from what I've seen, each religion out there that has a percievable history has a single person or group of people behind it's foundation and inspiration.

Well yes. That religions either have one person or a group behind them isn't news. I'm not sure what you mean, actually, because any group activity is either inspired by an individual or a group.

caposkia wrote:
The difference with Christ as a single person is 90% of the other single people (that I have seen in my research) never claimed to be divine in any way and usually claimed to be talking to angels or is a prophet.

I know that Niobe claimed divinity equal to Latona (the mother of the twins Apollo and Diana), and she was punished for her hubris. Heracles was the son of Zeus, too, and talked about it a lot. Those are just two examples.

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HisWillness wrote:caposkia

HisWillness wrote:

caposkia wrote:

my belief however is that it can be shown actually.

Alright, I'll bite - how?

In the research I've done on religions of the world, there is a tangible point or source of formation.   "the next Christiandom" book. is one source of many.  The references in that book would probably give you more than enough homework for a while.

HisWillness wrote:

Well yes. That religions either have one person or a group behind them isn't news. I'm not sure what you mean, actually, because any group activity is either inspired by an individual or a group.

and behind that group or individual is usually a motive.  What to study is the source of the motive and the reasoning behind the approach. 

HisWillness wrote:

I know that Niobe claimed divinity equal to Latona (the mother of the twins Apollo and Diana), and she was punished for her hubris. Heracles was the son of Zeus, too, and talked about it a lot. Those are just two examples.

that starts going into claims of "a" god versus "The" God.  In the realm of religions there has always been checks and balances.  To claim to be devine in the sense of "the" God, that would mean power over all gods and all things.  It's a claim that doesn't go without challenge.  If you're going to claim to be devine as in "the" God Almighty, you'd better be ready for the tests and you'd better pass them all with flying colors.

This starts going into the stories of each god and their claim too.  We're not there, we still haven't established the idea of spiritual existence.

 


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caposkia wrote:HisWillness

caposkia wrote:

HisWillness wrote:

caposkia wrote:

my belief however is that it can be shown actually.

Alright, I'll bite - how?

In the research I've done on religions of the world, there is a tangible point or source of formation.   "the next Christiandom" book. is one source of many.  The references in that book would probably give you more than enough homework for a while.

HisWillness wrote:

Well yes. That religions either have one person or a group behind them isn't news. I'm not sure what you mean, actually, because any group activity is either inspired by an individual or a group.

and behind that group or individual is usually a motive.  What to study is the source of the motive and the reasoning behind the approach. 

HisWillness wrote:

I know that Niobe claimed divinity equal to Latona (the mother of the twins Apollo and Diana), and she was punished for her hubris. Heracles was the son of Zeus, too, and talked about it a lot. Those are just two examples.

that starts going into claims of "a" god versus "The" God.  In the realm of religions there has always been checks and balances.  To claim to be devine in the sense of "the" God, that would mean power over all gods and all things.  It's a claim that doesn't go without challenge.  If you're going to claim to be devine as in "the" God Almighty, you'd better be ready for the tests and you'd better pass them all with flying colors.

This starts going into the stories of each god and their claim too.  We're not there, we still haven't established the idea of spiritual existence.

 

You just set up a situation that Yahweh (your version of "the God&quotEye-wink can't pass. The standards for the test are too subjective.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


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caposkia wrote:In the

caposkia wrote:
In the research I've done on religions of the world, there is a tangible point or source of formation.

You'll have to explain that - I asked you how your belief was that Christianity is valid above all other religions, and now I don't know what you're talking about.

caposkia wrote:
"the next Christiandom" book. is one source of many.  The references in that book would probably give you more than enough homework for a while.

I'm a student of classics - I'm pretty familiar with the standard literature. If you'd like to discuss anything specifically, I'd love to, but you're being pretty vague.

caposkia wrote:
and behind that group or individual is usually a motive.  What to study is the source of the motive and the reasoning behind the approach.

This is getting weird. Vague statements are just confusing, and don't lead to better communication. Quite the opposite. If you mean to say that there are motives to starting religious movements, I agree, but I don't know why you bring that up.

caposkia wrote:
that starts going into claims of "a" god versus "The" God.  In the realm of religions there has always been checks and balances.

Checks and balances? In the realm of religions? Again, you're being very vague, and I don't know what you're talking about.

caposkia wrote:
To claim to be devine in the sense of "the" God, that would mean power over all gods and all things.

Right, like Zeus had.

caposkia wrote:
It's a claim that doesn't go without challenge.  If you're going to claim to be devine as in "the" God Almighty, you'd better be ready for the tests and you'd better pass them all with flying colors.

We're still talking about Jesus claiming to be divine, right? Minerva punished Aracne for being wrong about being divine. Naturally, she was turned into a spider.

caposkia wrote:
This starts going into the stories of each god and their claim too.

Well Zeus handles lightning, so I don't know if I want to start bothering him, lest he strike me down.

caposkia wrote:
We're not there, we still haven't established the idea of spiritual existence.

Indeed we have not. That one's an uphill climb.

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jcgadfly wrote:You just set

jcgadfly wrote:

You just set up a situation that Yahweh (your version of "the God&quotEye-wink can't pass. The standards for the test are too subjective.

one would think of course.  I think that really depends on the basis for your conclusion.  I left the "tests" to be very vague in my response becasue there are many that need to be introduced and compared. 

What basis are you suggesting for me?


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HisWillness wrote:You'll

HisWillness wrote:

You'll have to explain that - I asked you how your belief was that Christianity is valid above all other religions, and now I don't know what you're talking about.

Sorry.  I'm basing my statement on the same methodology Philip Jenkins used by working backwards from the present.  He would look at a following and go back into how it became, what it is and where the earliest points of history can suggest it's reasoning for coming to be. 

From that point of view, most of what I have researched and Philip's research as well has reveiled that the majority of followings had a Judeo-Christian source.  Either that or a source that would suggest a more like following originally with an individual that either "had a different opinion" or "said a few things that people found significant" and thus inadvertently started a following.  e.g. Confucianism. 

HisWillness wrote:

I'm a student of classics - I'm pretty familiar with the standard literature. If you'd like to discuss anything specifically, I'd love to, but you're being pretty vague.

I'm sorry if you feel like I'm being vague.  It's just that your question about why I feel my following is valid above others is a very general question and would take me writing you a book to explain. 

It seems that most people on here expect me to say;  oh, it was a warm fuzzy feeling and I knew God was real, or my church says this and my friends agree, so God is real, or better yet, this phrase in the Bible spoke to me, so God must be real.

It's really not that simple.  There are numerous reasons why I follow what I do and it cannot be answered by just a response on here.  I have done a lot of homework on the subject and have been very harsh with followers and their responses to my questions.  I have never accepted a copout answer which seems to be from the majority unfortunately.   

I now understand that copout answers aren't an excuse to exclaim God can't be real.  It comes down to an understanding that the vast majority of believers are quite ignorant about what they're following and many times also why they're following. 

If you have specific questions about why I believe in certain aspects of my following, I'll answer to the best of my ability and I will let you know if I'm not well versed in that topic.

HisWillness wrote:

This is getting weird. Vague statements are just confusing, and don't lead to better communication. Quite the opposite. If you mean to say that there are motives to starting religious movements, I agree, but I don't know why you bring that up.

It's part of understanding the history of the churches "religions" pretty much.  It ultimately leads to a better understanding of why I follow Christ the way I do and why I'm not denominational as well as not a muslim, Jew or an atheist.

HisWillness wrote:

Checks and balances? In the realm of religions? Again, you're being very vague, and I don't know what you're talking about.

There has always been pressure on any following, doesn't matter what or who you follow.  The thing is, it's easy for a follower to negotiate the legitimacy of thier god if their god doesn't claim to be almighty and all powerful.  It's much more difficult for a follower who claims to follow THE GOD or YHWH because there's a much higher expectation.   For those claims to be true, there has to be reasoning for such an almighty label. 

It's getting into the stories a bit, it goes beyond where we are with the whole spiritual world existing or not topic.

HisWillness wrote:

 

Right, like Zeus had.

claimed...  I'm not very well versed in Zeus.  I guess I'd have to see what you're referencing to and how he backed up that claim.  Zeus from what I understand claimed to be the god of gods, but was he Almighty or was he god of something specific?  Like maybe the sky???

HisWillness wrote:

We're still talking about Jesus claiming to be divine, right? Minerva punished Aracne for being wrong about being divine. Naturally, she was turned into a spider.

...ok.  Not sure the relevency.... But then again.

So Jesus turned into....???

HisWillness wrote:

Well Zeus handles lightning, so I don't know if I want to start bothering him, lest he strike me down.

ya know, many people who've been struck by lightning ended up having enhanced senses and sometimes other random extra abilities!!!  Think of it as a favor from Zeus

HisWillness wrote:

caposkia wrote:
We're not there, we still haven't established the idea of spiritual existence.

Indeed we have not. That one's an uphill climb.

It is, but I love hiking and I have some Cliff Bars if you get hungry


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 It seems to me that the

 It seems to me that the only situation where the supernatural explanation could be accepted is if the natural one were even more unlikely than the supernatural one.

 

A little joke I found one day that I find fitting:

One day Bill complained to his friend that his elbow really hurt. His friend suggested that he visit a swami who lived in a nearby cave. "Simply leave a sample of urine outside his cave, and he will meditate on it, miraculously diagnose your problem, and tell you what you can do about it. It only costs ten dollars." 
Bill figured he had little to lose, so he filled a jar with urine and left it outside the cave with a ten-dollar bill. The next day when he came back, there was a note waiting for him that said, "You have tennis elbow. Soak your arm in warm water. Avoid heavy lifting. It will be better in two weeks." 
Later that evening, Bill started to think that the swami's "miracle" was a put-up-job by his friend, who could have written the note and left it outside the cave himself. So Bill decided to get back at his friend. He mixed together some tap water, a yard sample from his dog, and urine samples from his wife and son. To top it off, he included another bodily fluid of his own, and left the concoction outside the cave with ten dollars. He then called his friend and told him that he was having some other health problems and that he had left another sample for the swami. 
The next day he returned to the cave and found another note that said, "Your tap water is too hard. Get a water softener. Your dog has worms. Get him vitamins. Your son is hooked on cocaine. Get him into rehab. Your wife is pregnant with twin girls. They aren't yours. Get a lawyer. And if you don't stop playing with yourself, your tennis elbow will never get better."

 


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Di66en6ion wrote: It seems

Di66en6ion wrote:
It seems to me that the only situation where the supernatural explanation could be accepted is if the natural one were even more unlikely than the supernatural one.
Well, further than that if the supernatural explanation were accepted it wouldn't be supernatural, but natural.  The two concepts (used loosely in regard to the nonsense supernatural) are mutually exclusive.  If the supernatural existed and were known to exist it would necessarily not be supernatural.  The word has no universe of discourse as it is negatively defined.  There can be no explanation for anything that wouldn't necessarily be 'natural'.


 

BigUniverse wrote,

"Well the things that happen less often are more likely to be the result of the supper natural. A thing like loosing my keys in the morning is not likely supper natural, but finding a thousand dollars or meeting a celebrity might be."


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Thomathy wrote:Di66en6ion

Thomathy wrote:

Di66en6ion wrote:
It seems to me that the only situation where the supernatural explanation could be accepted is if the natural one were even more unlikely than the supernatural one.
Well, further than that if the supernatural explanation were accepted it wouldn't be supernatural, but natural.  The two concepts (used loosely in regard to the nonsense supernatural) are mutually exclusive.  If the supernatural existed and were known to exist it would necessarily not be supernatural.  The word has no universe of discourse as it is negatively defined.  There can be no explanation for anything that wouldn't necessarily be 'natural'

 

Well like the joke implies, there would have to be no known underlying rationality to what happened. How could the alternative supernatural explanation be accepted if it couldn't be explained (to a degree greater than just what happened) to begin with?

I understand that under a circumstance where things like this happened all the time it would simply be labeled as natural since it was observed and acknowledged but that doesn't change the fact that it's unexplainable. I guess this would simply be changing the definition from supernatural to "unknown", even though I consider them one in the same.

 


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I wouldn't use the word

I wouldn't use the word supernatural to mean unknown or unexplainable.  Something that is unknown isn't necessarily supernatural and while something unknown is necessarily unexplainable until it is known, something that is unexplainable isn't necessarily supernatural.  Something that is supernatural, however, would by definition be unknown, unknowable and thus unexplainable.  It's problematic (in fact it's fallacious) to use the words supernatural, unknown and unexplainable interchangeably.  You should probably revise your understanding of the words as it will undoubtedly lead to confusion (perhaps perceived as intentional) if you equivocate them (which you have done in your above post).

 

By the way, welcome to the forums! Laughing out loud

BigUniverse wrote,

"Well the things that happen less often are more likely to be the result of the supper natural. A thing like loosing my keys in the morning is not likely supper natural, but finding a thousand dollars or meeting a celebrity might be."


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caposkia wrote:If you have

caposkia wrote:
If you have specific questions about why I believe in certain aspects of my following, I'll answer to the best of my ability and I will let you know if I'm not well versed in that topic.

HisWillness wrote:

This is getting weird. Vague statements are just confusing, and don't lead to better communication. Quite the opposite. If you mean to say that there are motives to starting religious movements, I agree, but I don't know why you bring that up.

caposkia wrote:
It's part of understanding the history of the churches "religions" pretty much.  It ultimately leads to a better understanding of why I follow Christ the way I do and why I'm not denominational as well as not a muslim, Jew or an atheist.

Well we know why you're not an atheist - you believe in a god. But yes, I'd like to know, then, why the Christian version of the story is more valid than that of the Muslim or Jew.

caposkia wrote:
I'm not very well versed in Zeus.  I guess I'd have to see what you're referencing to and how he backed up that claim.  Zeus from what I understand claimed to be the god of gods, but was he Almighty or was he god of something specific?  Like maybe the sky???

The "Almighty" that you capitalized was first used by Greek and Roman authors to describe Zeus (or Jupiter to the Romans). The various other descriptive words used for God (eg "The Father", "Omnipotent&quotEye-wink are all borrowed from descriptions of Zeus.

caposkia wrote:
We're not there, we still haven't established the idea of spiritual existence.

Okay, so how are we going to establish spiritual existence? And exactly what do you mean by the phrase "spiritual existence"? Do you mean that we have spirits, or that there is a spiritual realm, or ... ?

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Thomathy wrote:Di66en6ion

Thomathy wrote:

Di66en6ion wrote:
It seems to me that the only situation where the supernatural explanation could be accepted is if the natural one were even more unlikely than the supernatural one.
Well, further than that if the supernatural explanation were accepted it wouldn't be supernatural, but natural.  The two concepts (used loosely in regard to the nonsense supernatural) are mutually exclusive.  If the supernatural existed and were known to exist it would necessarily not be supernatural.  The word has no universe of discourse as it is negatively defined.  There can be no explanation for anything that wouldn't necessarily be 'natural'.

And there we go Smiling  I couldn't have said it better myself


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Thomathy wrote:I wouldn't

Thomathy wrote:

I wouldn't use the word supernatural to mean unknown or unexplainable.  Something that is unknown isn't necessarily supernatural and while something unknown is necessarily unexplainable until it is known, something that is unexplainable isn't necessarily supernatural.  Something that is supernatural, however, would by definition be unknown, unknowable and thus unexplainable.  It's problematic (in fact it's fallacious) to use the words supernatural, unknown and unexplainable interchangeably.  You should probably revise your understanding of the words as it will undoubtedly lead to confusion (perhaps perceived as intentional) if you equivocate them (which you have done in your above post).

 

By the way, welcome to the forums! Laughing out loud

Thank you Thomathy


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Thomathy wrote:I wouldn't

Thomathy wrote:

I wouldn't use the word supernatural to mean unknown or unexplainable.  Something that is unknown isn't necessarily supernatural and while something unknown is necessarily unexplainable until it is known, something that is unexplainable isn't necessarily supernatural.  Something that is supernatural, however, would by definition be unknown, unknowable and thus unexplainable.  It's problematic (in fact it's fallacious) to use the words supernatural, unknown and unexplainable interchangeably.  You should probably revise your understanding of the words as it will undoubtedly lead to confusion (perhaps perceived as intentional) if you equivocate them (which you have done in your above post).

 

By the way, welcome to the forums! Laughing out loud

Thank you Thomathy.  Though we've been through this before, you've explained it probably better than I did.


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HisWillness wrote:Well we

HisWillness wrote:

Well we know why you're not an atheist - you believe in a god. But yes, I'd like to know, then, why the Christian version of the story is more valid than that of the Muslim or Jew.

There are many.  One that comes off the top of my head for sure is Jesus to the muslims.  If Jesus is just another prophet as the Muslims believe he is, then their powerful prophet is also a liar.  All that Jesus claimed can't just go ignored just because you want to believe that he was just another prophet like the rest.  True prophets are not only such, they're trusted.  Therefore, it doesn't hold water. 

There are also many things about Muslims that's "appealing" though according to the Christian scripture, there are a lot of "not so appealing" attributes to being a follower. 

e.g. how about being a Muslim man in the new world, you get many virgin women.  

According to the gospels and Jesus' teachings, in the new world, women will not be marrying or given into marriage.  The reason?  There's no need for procreation anymore... mmm.  from a guys' perspective, that sounds kind of depressing....

HisWillness wrote:

The "Almighty" that you capitalized was first used by Greek and Roman authors to describe Zeus (or Jupiter to the Romans). The various other descriptive words used for God (eg "The Father", "Omnipotent&quotEye-wink are all borrowed from descriptions of Zeus.

Interesting.  If those words were used with the same intent as used with YHWH, then its' apparent that Zeus' teachings were extremely contradictory.  You can't be a god of something specific AND be Almighty at the same time.

Note:  Many words have been used for other gods through the generations.  Words are used as an understanding by people for people.  Most of the time, they're used with different meanings behind them.  Many times they're misunderstood. 

I guess I'd have to question how far into the Christian Creed the Zeus descriptions went?  Did they claim all about Zeus that they do about YHWH?

HisWillness wrote:

Okay, so how are we going to establish spiritual existence? And exactly what do you mean by the phrase "spiritual existence"? Do you mean that we have spirits, or that there is a spiritual realm, or ... ?

yes.  

It's a good question how are we going to establish "spiritual existance".   The ball's in your court on that one actually.  I really don't know what you'd be looking for. 

From my perspective at this point, you're going to need to see a spiritual *poof* in order to even consider the idea.  Am I wrong?

It'd be helpful if you can explain what you'd be looking for from me to help you even just consider the idea. 

 


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caposkia wrote:If Jesus is

caposkia wrote:

If Jesus is just another prophet as the Muslims believe he is, then their powerful prophet is also a liar.  All that Jesus claimed can't just go ignored just because you want to believe that he was just another prophet like the rest.  True prophets are not only such, they're trusted.  Therefore, it doesn't hold water.

I'm not sure what you're saying here. Are you saying that because Mohammed claimed that Jesus was just another prophet, then Mohammed is a liar? Surely you must realize that a Muslim would say that Jesus is a liar for claiming divine descent. And who would blame that Muslim? If I claimed to be divine, I'm assuming people might have a problem with that.

But "true prophets"? Are you going to enlighten me as to what a "true prophet" is?

caposkia wrote:
According to the gospels and Jesus' teachings, in the new world, women will not be marrying or given into marriage.  The reason?  There's no need for procreation anymore... mmm.  from a guys' perspective, that sounds kind of depressing....

I guess. Of course, you're in Happy Land already, once you're in heaven, aren't you? If your happy just happens to be 72 virgins, I'm guessing that you get that in heaven. It's a weird happy, but whatever.

caposkia wrote:
Interesting.  If those words were used with the same intent as used with YHWH, then its' apparent that Zeus' teachings were extremely contradictory.  You can't be a god of something specific AND be Almighty at the same time.

Zeus didn't really have teachings. I'd recommend reading about ancient religions before reaching any conclusions. Most of the Bible stories you've read have a precedent in earlier religious writings.

caposkia wrote:
I guess I'd have to question how far into the Christian Creed the Zeus descriptions went?  Did they claim all about Zeus that they do about YHWH?

I don't think you understand. The Greek stories came before Christianity (and were contemporary to other mythologies). The Jewish mythology has some influence from Zoroastrian traditions, Babylonian, Mesopotamian and Greek. The Greeks and Jews would use largely the same vocabulary to describe YHWH as they would Zeus.

So yes, Zeus was supreme among the gods. But you'd have to get more familiar with those myths to get what I mean by that. Try Ovid's Metamorphoses translated by Mandelbaum. Great translation.

caposkia wrote:
It's a good question how are we going to establish "spiritual existance".   The ball's in your court on that one actually.  I really don't know what you'd be looking for.

Since I'm saying there probably isn't a spiritual realm, I think it's fair to say the ball's still in your court. All I'd need is a way to determine the difference between a spiritual realm and imagination or hallucination. So if there is a spiritual realm, it should be easy to distinguish it from imagination or hallucination.

 

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HisWillness wrote:I'm not

HisWillness wrote:

I'm not sure what you're saying here. Are you saying that because Mohammed claimed that Jesus was just another prophet, then Mohammed is a liar? Surely you must realize that a Muslim would say that Jesus is a liar for claiming divine descent. And who would blame that Muslim? If I claimed to be divine, I'm assuming people might have a problem with that.

No, I was suggesting that for the Muslims to believe what they do, they'd have to admit that Jesus was a liar.  For Jesus to claim what he did and to be only what the Muslims claim him to be, there's really no way around it. 

HisWillness wrote:

I guess. Of course, you're in Happy Land already, once you're in heaven, aren't you? If your happy just happens to be 72 virgins, I'm guessing that you get that in heaven. It's a weird happy, but whatever.

If you say so.  It's just a point of reference to a story that is suppose to be false and yet is suppose to intice people to follow it.  I'd say no need for sex in the new world doesn't intice me to follow the story.  There are many other things in the Bible that doesn't 'appeal' to the people. 

If it's a made up story, I must ask what the writers were thinking putting in such unappealing suggestions.  I also must ask how such a story could survive be it that fairytales seem to have happier endings and better 'rewards' for their believers. 

HisWillness wrote:

Zeus didn't really have teachings. I'd recommend reading about ancient religions before reaching any conclusions. Most of the Bible stories you've read have a precedent in earlier religious writings.

I have read about a lot of ancient religions.  Yes, not all of them.  See "The Next Christiandom" book.  It's not my only source, but it gives a decent summary of many of them.

HisWillness wrote:

I don't think you understand. The Greek stories came before Christianity (and were contemporary to other mythologies). The Jewish mythology has some influence from Zoroastrian traditions, Babylonian, Mesopotamian and Greek. The Greeks and Jews would use largely the same vocabulary to describe YHWH as they would Zeus.

I do understand.  What I'm getting at is a comparison between vocabulary and intent.  Most religions in the world can be historically tracked to have some contingency on another following.  Though many people try to make ties to religions that aren't really there either.  No particular reference to that statement, just a general point.

HisWillness wrote:

So yes, Zeus was supreme among the gods. But you'd have to get more familiar with those myths to get what I mean by that. Try Ovid's Metamorphoses translated by Mandelbaum. Great translation.

I'll admit, I never studied up too much on ancient myths.  I've studied more about the religions that have survived the times and their histories.

HisWillness wrote:

Since I'm saying there probably isn't a spiritual realm, I think it's fair to say the ball's still in your court. All I'd need is a way to determine the difference between a spiritual realm and imagination or hallucination. So if there is a spiritual realm, it should be easy to distinguish it from imagination or hallucination.

That's a good start. 

The first thing I'd like to know from you is what are the characteristics of an imagination or a hallucination.  e.g. not to bring up a dead topic, but ball lightning.  How can we know that someone actually saw ball lightning and not just flashes of light in their head...which has been documented in studies to happen?   How would you discipher hallucinations from reality without the ability to test each and every person who claimed such a site for stuff like tumors, brain trauma or psychotic episodes? 

 


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caposkia wrote:How would you

caposkia wrote:
How would you discipher hallucinations from reality without the ability to test each and every person who claimed such a site for stuff like tumors, brain trauma or psychotic episodes? 

You would follow the reasonable path of inquiry and create some statistics! The ball lightning isn't a great example because of the infrequency of its appearance. I'd tend to believe that the several hundred people who have witnessed ball lightning are seeing something natural that occurs infrequently. I'd say that's a reasonable stance, given that there's a fair amount of evidence that these things actually do happen, and there are reasonable explanations, like the combustion of sodium vapours. Since there are a few methods of making what would be called "ball lightning", it's plausible that those things have happened in front of people. There isn't much evidence, mind you, but there is evidence enough to consider a natural phenomenon, given the consistency of the descriptions of the phenomenon itself.

There are, in fact, quite a number of ways to tell reality from fantasy. Otherwise, we wouldn't know who to put in an insane asylum.

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HisWillness wrote:I guess.

HisWillness wrote:

I guess. Of course, you're in Happy Land already, once you're in heaven, aren't you? If your happy just happens to be 72 virgins, I'm guessing that you get that in heaven. It's a weird happy, but whatever.

I personaly would rather have a woman that knows what she's doing, but maybe that's just me.

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spike.barnett

spike.barnett wrote:

HisWillness wrote:

I guess. Of course, you're in Happy Land already, once you're in heaven, aren't you? If your happy just happens to be 72 virgins, I'm guessing that you get that in heaven. It's a weird happy, but whatever.

I personaly would rather have a woman that knows what she's doing, but maybe that's just me.

Amen to that.

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HisWillness wrote:You would

HisWillness wrote:

You would follow the reasonable path of inquiry and create some statistics! The ball lightning isn't a great example because of the infrequency of its appearance. I'd tend to believe that the several hundred people who have witnessed ball lightning are seeing something natural that occurs infrequently. I'd say that's a reasonable stance, given that there's a fair amount of evidence that these things actually do happen, and there are reasonable explanations, like the combustion of sodium vapours. Since there are a few methods of making what would be called "ball lightning", it's plausible that those things have happened in front of people. There isn't much evidence, mind you, but there is evidence enough to consider a natural phenomenon, given the consistency of the descriptions of the phenomenon itself.

There are, in fact, quite a number of ways to tell reality from fantasy. Otherwise, we wouldn't know who to put in an insane asylum.

There definitely are.  I was looking for what would be acceptable to you. 

Let's try to back up in time for a moment.  Before 2007 (from what I'm now understanding) ball lightning was not known as far as how it happened.  In other words, there was no physical explanation. 

You mentioned that ball lightning would be a bad example due to its infrequency.  What is your explanation for God be it that the majority of people on Earth believe at least in Spirits.  There is a much larger number of "eye witnesses" to God's doings than there are of ball lightning.  Also, it's logical to conclude you can't physically explain God because he's not physical. 

Also, why would you be more apt to accept that hundreds of people's claims of seeing ball lightning is real, yet millions of people's claims of a spiritual world is not?  Let's also assume you don't have the physical evidences discovered in 2007 to go by. 

These are just questions so I can get a better idea of where you're coming from.  This way I can use the most appropriate approach in our conversations.


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caposkia wrote:Let's try to

caposkia wrote:
Let's try to back up in time for a moment.  Before 2007 (from what I'm now understanding) ball lightning was not known as far as how it happened.  In other words, there was no physical explanation.

That's not entirely true as a statement, though. There were many physical explanations, and the infrequency of the ball lightning happening makes the progress to a proper hypothesis slower.

caposkia wrote:
What is your explanation for God be it that the majority of people on Earth believe at least in Spirits.

Have these people seen these spirits? Have they looked upon a spirit? See, ball lightning is a flash of blue or white or yellow light. You can describe that to someone. That naturally arouses the curiosity of the naturalist, who would have no problem proposing a physical explanation.

caposkia wrote:
There is a much larger number of "eye witnesses" to God's doings than there are of ball lightning.

But the vague nature of those reports leave quite a lot to be desired. Did those people see God? Or was it a light or something similar? If they did see God, what did he look like? Did he say anything?

caposkia wrote:
Also, it's logical to conclude you can't physically explain God because he's not physical.

Ah. See, there we're going to run into difficulty because everything used to describe God is physical. Jealousy, for instance, is only witnessed in biological creatures. It is logical to conclude you can't physically explain God. Yes. It's very difficult to observe something that isn't physical, or even attempt to apply logic to such a thing. In that way, it resembles a figment of someone's imagination, which, while in itself is created by a physical process, is not a physical being.

caposkia wrote:
Also, why would you be more apt to accept that hundreds of people's claims of seeing ball lightning is real, yet millions of people's claims of a spiritual world is not?

Because they describe something somewhat the same, and something physical: a ball of light. You can explore the nature of a ball of light. You cannot explore the nature of a spiritual world, because it is by definition not physical, and thus unobservable. By extension, it also cannot have any influence upon the physical world, because otherwise it would be physical (in the form of measurable forces).

So even if there were spirits that we're just not perceiving, they would have absolutely no bearing on the physical world. That would include God, who would have no affect on anything physical.

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HisWillness wrote:That's not

HisWillness wrote:

That's not entirely true as a statement, though. There were many physical explanations, and the infrequency of the ball lightning happening makes the progress to a proper hypothesis slower.

point and case:  it was hard to explain.  Anyway...

HisWillness wrote:

caposkia wrote:
What is your explanation for God be it that the majority of people on Earth believe at least in Spirits.

Have these people seen these spirits? Have they looked upon a spirit? See, ball lightning is a flash of blue or white or yellow light. You can describe that to someone. That naturally arouses the curiosity of the naturalist, who would have no problem proposing a physical explanation.

yea, there have been numerous amount of claims of people "seeing" or "looking upon" spirits.  They have been described to people. The general description is an orb that takes the shape of a human figure.  Usually can't see the face or make out physical features, though sometimes you can. 

So your explanation?

HisWillness wrote:

caposkia wrote:
There is a much larger number of "eye witnesses" to God's doings than there are of ball lightning.

But the vague nature of those reports leave quite a lot to be desired. Did those people see God? Or was it a light or something similar? If they did see God, what did he look like? Did he say anything?

It's generally understood that no living being sees God, but spirits have been seen.  There are extrabiblical accounts of people speaking to spirits and spirits speaking to them. 

The reports I've heard on Ball Lightning leave a lot to be desired as well.  Spirit sightings are much more frequent statistically speaking.

HisWillness wrote:

Ah. See, there we're going to run into difficulty because everything used to describe God is physical. Jealousy, for instance, is only witnessed in biological creatures. It is logical to conclude you can't physically explain God. Yes. It's very difficult to observe something that isn't physical, or even attempt to apply logic to such a thing. In that way, it resembles a figment of someone's imagination, which, while in itself is created by a physical process, is not a physical being.

It is logical that we'd use physical to describe God because we don't know any other way.

Beyond that, gravity then, must be a figment of our imagination be it that as far as we can tell, it's not physical... though it has affects on physical things same as God.

HisWillness wrote:

Because they describe something somewhat the same, and something physical: a ball of light. You can explore the nature of a ball of light. You cannot explore the nature of a spiritual world, because it is by definition not physical, and thus unobservable. By extension, it also cannot have any influence upon the physical world, because otherwise it would be physical (in the form of measurable forces).

There have been reported spiritual sightings.  I'm not talking about the cheezy haunted house tours you see on tv either, therefore it must hold just as much water.

Logically, for something to affect the physical, something physical must have happened. Assuming there's a spiritual, they would be best understood by the physical as energy, therefore technically spiritual could be physical in that sense, but it raises more questions rather than less. 

Either way, it is understood that the spiritual can affect the physical without being "physical" as we understand it to be. 

HisWillness wrote:

So even if there were spirits that we're just not perceiving, they would have absolutely no bearing on the physical world. That would include God, who would have no affect on anything physical.

Even if He created it huh... Interesting concept.


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I'm going to give Cap props

I'm going to give Cap props for stubborness. Is there an award for theists who've never done drive bys, and always come back for another kick? There's a few now. Considering that they're outnumbered a thousand to one, I think we should reward those who stick around and keep trying. Disirregardless of whether or not they've accomplished anything in their eyes or ours.

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caposkia wrote:yea, there

caposkia wrote:

yea, there have been numerous amount of claims of people "seeing" or "looking upon" spirits.  They have been described to people. The general description is an orb that takes the shape of a human figure.  Usually can't see the face or make out physical features, though sometimes you can.

So your explanation?

Okay, I doubt both ball lightning and spirits without good evidence.

caposkia wrote:
Beyond that, gravity then, must be a figment of our imagination be it that as far as we can tell, it's not physical... though it has affects on physical things same as God.

You're confused. Gravity is a force that IS physical, as it has a physical effect. God, on the other hand, cannot be described as physically effecting anything. Neither can spirits.

caposkia wrote:
Either way, it is understood that the spiritual can affect the physical without being "physical" as we understand it to be.

That's nonsense. I mean that literally - what you said makes no sense. Is the spiritual physical or not?

caposkia wrote:
HisWillness wrote:

So even if there were spirits that we're just not perceiving, they would have absolutely no bearing on the physical world. That would include God, who would have no affect on anything physical.

Even if He created it huh... Interesting concept.

That's an assumption on your part, not a fact. Gravity is a fact, and it physically effects mass. God's creation of anything is an assumption, because you have no evidence to imply that "He" made anything. Especially since you could substitute "He" for "Allah", "Isis", or "Enkidu" and still have a statement with equal validity.

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We love you Cap. You are

We love you Cap. You are brave in taking us on, but we simply know you got it wrong. It really is all in your head.

I myself had 3 seperate experiances where I saw "ghosts". All happened when I was a kid. I saw my dead grandmother standing at the end of my bed. Another time I saw my dead father standing at the end of my bed. Another time I saw my STILL LIVE mother standing at the end of my bed.

What was really going on were my neurons were firing off memories to my visual cortex while my eyes were open, while taking in REAL sensories of the outside world.

People who are even awake can have these halucinations that seem real, especially when they want to have them, it is self inducing. But also combined with that there are people who con and scam others into believing that ghosts exist. "Ghost hunters" is one of those scam shows.

The bottem line is that the super natural does not exist and the reality is people are not aware of how powerfull their own brain chemistry and immagination can be.

Cap, we really simply want YOU to recognize that it is all in your head and once you realize it for what it is, you will understand what we are saying.

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Possible evidence.

I have always found it rather curious that pretty much every society and civilization was founded with religious principles in hand. This seems to present some innate evidence for a spiritual element to nature, since there's not really much of an evolutionary reason posited for the nature of all societies to deviate towards theism. I recall some interesting research having been done by Dean Hamer on VMAT2, not sure where that's gotten currently though.


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fishpasteplay wrote:This

fishpasteplay wrote:
This seems to present some innate evidence for a spiritual element to nature, since there's not really much of an evolutionary reason posited for the nature of all societies to deviate towards theism.

It's not so much evidence as it is behaviour. We don't always behave in a way that would be considered optimal in terms of an "evolutionary reason". Consider golf. There's no evolutionary reason for golf, except as an extension of our very useful tendency towards play. In the same sense, religious behaviour could be an extension of any number of useful traits, like our ability to imagine. If someone imagines something and then believes it very strongly, you have a "revelation".

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Reading the case "for"

Reading the case "for" religious belief here, Caposkia's comments strike me as a perfect example of that human tendency, when confronted with perceived phenomena for which only imperfect explanations present themselves, to replace such explanations with absolute assertions instead. That they are not in themselves explanations (only very stupid people would think they are) is betrayed by the necessity to invent whole new words and concepts in their emloyment, without which they cannot function semantically at all. From such fuzzy thinking comes "spiritual" and "soul" to name but two fallacial concepts from the many thousand religion throws up.

 

Our modern world however (and the phrase can be attributed now to quite a long historical period) has largely invalidated such a free and easy approach to describing phenomena, largely by perfecting rational explanation to a degree which exposes ignorant assertion for what it is, leaving religionists with a shrinking field of phenomena to which they can apply their ultimately nonsensical assertions in any hope that they be taken seriously. Christianity, which once obsessed itself theologically with false explanations for physical phenomena, now generally retreats into "safer" areas which it has deduced (falsely) that science still falters in as a method of study.

 

In doing so, ironically, it has been forced to add even more weight and emphasis to those terms which once formed part of a pseudo-scientific analysis of natural phenomena but which now have been imbued with more metaphysical qualities in the hope that this protects them from being dispelled as fallacies. These terms have become therefore almost the final bastions protecting religionists in the battle between blind faith in the supernatural and rational reliance on reasoned deduction based on evidence.

 

But this ultimate "defence" is an illusory one. When the religionist's demand for the atheist to "define scientifically my spiritual experience" is met more and more by the answer that false assertions cannot be defined scientifically, and especially in the subjective and imperfect manner with which they are presented, a realisation will slowly dawn on the asserters that it is they who have distanced themselves from intelligent debate, not that their assertions are "stronger" than the ability of science to explain them.

 

Science approaches the unknowable as a challenge, and therefore treats it with intelligent but sceptical respect. Religion employs it as a justification for false assumptions and therefore glorifies it almost without question. In doing so it promotes ignorance. It is a testimony to that other strong human tendency - the ability to translate simple curiosity into complex evidential deductive reasoning - that it is proving not only equally as strong an impulse as religious adherence to unreasonable assertion (even if it is traditionally suppressed quite blatantly by religion's propagators) but the only viable method of progress for the human species.

 

 

PS

 

"Ball lightning", by the way, while indeed a mysterious phenomenon in that it is not fully understood, is not analogous with semantically fallacious assertions such as "spirituality". The former is hampered in its understanding by a reliance on infrequent reliable observation to facilitate study, but even this imperfectly accrued input data has produced rather convincing scientific deduction concerning its nature (not least that the phrase encompasses probably half a dozen separate phenomena casually assumed in the past to be the same). The latter assertion defies scientific explanation because it is a subjectively expressed assertion about which even the asserters cannot agree on a common semantic meaning. The comparison between the two concepts is therefore tenuous and based totally on the fact that they both confuse and impress ill-informed people. Science would have us better informed. Religion balks at that prospect since it depends on the wilfully ignorant assumption that such analogies exist.

 

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 I would have to disagree

 

I would have to disagree with the “it’s all in your head” explanation because that doesn’t explain ghost sightings among multiple people on multiple occasions. My personal belief on this matter is more along the lines that ghost sightings are an imprint or an energy echo if you will. I’ve had a few ghost experiences myself and along with my reading I’ve noticed a common trend with ghosts. They tend to stick to a confined area and they are very repetitive, like a video loop. I don’t believe that these “spirits” are a conscious living entity; you don’t have any more or less chance of communicating with them as you have communicating with your television or radio.

 

Think of this; there are energy waves around us constantly. It’s only been in recent human history that infrared and microwaves were discovered. They have been here all along affecting us yet we didn’t have the natural ability to know that they were there. It’s completely possible that there are many other types of energy waves that science has yet to discover.

 

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HisWillness
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Ivon wrote:I would have to

Ivon wrote:

I would have to disagree with the “it’s all in your head” explanation because that doesn’t explain ghost sightings among multiple people on multiple occasions.

 

Any video footage from these multiple occasions? 

 

Ivon wrote:
My personal belief on this matter is more along the lines that ghost sightings are an imprint or an energy echo if you will.

 

You wouldn't happen to have an engineering or physics background, would you? Might want to check out the definition of "energy", since the way you're using it doesn't happen in nature.

 

Ivon wrote:
I’ve had a few ghost experiences myself and along with my reading I’ve noticed a common trend with ghosts.

 

No video footage, though, right? Sorry to be a stickler for that.

Ivon wrote:
Think of this; there are energy waves around us constantly. It’s only been in recent human history that infrared and microwaves were discovered. They have been here all along affecting us yet we didn’t have the natural ability to know that they were there. It’s completely possible that there are many other types of energy waves that science has yet to discover.

Not so much, no. I'd recommend a lot more reading in physics. We've pretty much nailed down types of energy. There are many mysteries, yes, but "types of energy" isn't one of them.

 

Saint Will: no gyration without funkstification.
fabulae! nil satis firmi video quam ob rem accipere hunc mi expediat metum. - Terence


Ivon
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Nope, no video footage, but

Nope, no video footage, but lets be honest here, with today's technology in video editing would anyone actually believe video footage anymore. I do have a Bachelors degree in Computer Animation so I could probably come up with some pretty convincing video. I'm not trying to prove anything about ghosts because I'll admit I don't know. I just seriously doubt that it's in a persons head when multiple people have the same sightings. For the record I also believe in aliens and Bigfoot... and no, I don't have any video.

Free your mind.


HisWillness
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Ivon wrote: I just

Ivon wrote:
 I just seriously doubt that it's in a persons head when multiple people have the same sightings.

That's most likely "confirmation bias". People very often see things together in groups, but that doesn't point to the thing's existence. I've seen David Copperfield make the Statue of Liberty disappear in front of thousands of people [edit - about 30 people in an immediate audience, and lots of people on television]:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9S6tJpUxvOU

Ivon wrote:
For the record I also believe in aliens and Bigfoot

Don't get me wrong, anything's possible, but this thread is about evidence.

Saint Will: no gyration without funkstification.
fabulae! nil satis firmi video quam ob rem accipere hunc mi expediat metum. - Terence


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I hate quoting myself Ivon,

I hate quoting myself Ivon, but ...

 

"... a perfect example of that human tendency, when confronted with perceived phenomena for which only imperfect explanations present themselves, to replace such explanations with absolute assertions instead ..."

 

... and, as in your own assertion, most of these are composed of semantically dishonest and/or inane crap.

 

But at least you were kind enough to set on record that you believe any old crap yourself, so it's no surprise to hear you spouting it. In the old pre-Gates days we used to have a very much used piece of computer jargon - GIGO (garbage in, garbage out). Nowadays of course Gates makes money out of garbage, but you probably get the drift of the sentiment.

 

Try improving the quality of what you input. Who knows what your brain could be actually capable of if applied to reality?

I would rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy


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Vastet wrote:I'm going to

Vastet wrote:

I'm going to give Cap props for stubborness. Is there an award for theists who've never done drive bys, and always come back for another kick? There's a few now. Considering that they're outnumbered a thousand to one, I think we should reward those who stick around and keep trying. Disirregardless of whether or not they've accomplished anything in their eyes or ours.

Yay, I got to use disirregardless. Sticking out tongue

Is it stubbornness or patience?  I don't feel progress has been made here with most.  The idea is that someone actually needs to stick to a topic and discuss it.  Not run away or come up with excuses when they dont' have an answer.

The struggle at this point is to figure out what will be an acceptable method to proceed with.

Some are at least willing to ask questions.


caposkia
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HisWillness wrote:Okay, I

HisWillness wrote:

Okay, I doubt both ball lightning and spirits without good evidence.

okay

HisWillness wrote:

You're confused. Gravity is a force that IS physical, as it has a physical effect. God, on the other hand, cannot be described as physically effecting anything. Neither can spirits.

oh.... well if the above statement is true, then the Bible HAS to be false.  Though if the Bible is true, then your statement above cannot be. 

We're back to square 1.

HisWillness wrote:

caposkia wrote:
Either way, it is understood that the spiritual can affect the physical without being "physical" as we understand it to be.

That's nonsense. I mean that literally - what you said makes no sense. Is the spiritual physical or not?

well... If I take your first statement into consideration... e.g. gravity is physical because it affects the physical, then the spiritual is also physical.  but just like gravity, you cannot describe what it is, only what it does.  Therefore, it's not physically explainable.

 

HisWillness wrote:

That's an assumption on your part, not a fact. Gravity is a fact, and it physically effects mass. God's creation of anything is an assumption, because you have no evidence to imply that "He" made anything. Especially since you could substitute "He" for "Allah", "Isis", or "Enkidu" and still have a statement with equal validity.

Not so much in the languages.  the Christian God has a name.  Not just God or He


HisWillness
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caposkia wrote:HisWillness

caposkia wrote:

HisWillness wrote:

You're confused. Gravity is a force that IS physical, as it has a physical effect. God, on the other hand, cannot be described as physically effecting anything. Neither can spirits.

oh.... well if the above statement is true, then the Bible HAS to be false.

Not really. I don't see how a book can be "false". You mean that the statements in the Bible are false. In another thread (I'll see if I can find it for you), there's a Christian (a REAL Christian, again) who claims that the parables are decoy stories for the uninitiated and unworthy. They are meant to be false and/or confusing. So there are, in fact, statements in the Bible which are false by some interpretations.

One interpretation would be that God has no physical presence, and thus affects no physical entity.

caposkia wrote:
well... If I take your first statement into consideration... e.g. gravity is physical because it affects the physical, then the spiritual is also physical.  but just like gravity, you cannot describe what it is, only what it does.  Therefore, it's not physically explainable.

Now you're being schoolyard silly. There are equations that describe exactly what gravity (a physical force does). What does the spiritual do? I'd like you to be specific, now that you've ventured into the silly. You're welcome to use mathematics.

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fabulae! nil satis firmi video quam ob rem accipere hunc mi expediat metum. - Terence


caposkia
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HisWillness wrote:caposkia

HisWillness wrote:

caposkia wrote:

oh.... well if the above statement is true, then the Bible HAS to be false.

Not really. I don't see how a book can be "false". You mean that the statements in the Bible are false. In another thread (I'll see if I can find it for you), there's a Christian (a REAL Christian, again) who claims that the parables are decoy stories for the uninitiated and unworthy. They are meant to be false and/or confusing. So there are, in fact, statements in the Bible which are false by some interpretations.

One interpretation would be that God has no physical presence, and thus affects no physical entity.

Though I don't doubt that person's following, I would have to disagree with their conclusion.   Jesus never said they were decoy stories to deter them from the truth.  He explained that the stories were said in parables for a few reasons.  They would not accept the clear truth if it was told to them anyway and they were not suppose to fully understand it at the time according to OT prophesies. 

HisWillness wrote:

Now you're being schoolyard silly. There are equations that describe exactly what gravity (a physical force does). What does the spiritual do? I'd like you to be specific, now that you've ventured into the silly. You're welcome to use mathematics.

If I'm being silly, why should I be specific.  I think I'm being logical in my conclusion.  Do you disagree?  I understand that there are equasions explaining what gravity "does".  I was not disputing that.  What i was disputing is the description of what gravity "is".  It's just as physically explainable (as far as what it "is" not "does&quotEye-wink as the spiritual is.

There are many examples in the Bible of how the spiritual has "affected" the physical.  Those examples are specific too. 


caposkia
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Brian37 wrote:We love you

Brian37 wrote:

We love you Cap. You are brave in taking us on, but we simply know you got it wrong. It really is all in your head.

I myself had 3 seperate experiances where I saw "ghosts". All happened when I was a kid. I saw my dead grandmother standing at the end of my bed. Another time I saw my dead father standing at the end of my bed. Another time I saw my STILL LIVE mother standing at the end of my bed.

What was really going on were my neurons were firing off memories to my visual cortex while my eyes were open, while taking in REAL sensories of the outside world.

People who are even awake can have these halucinations that seem real, especially when they want to have them, it is self inducing. But also combined with that there are people who con and scam others into believing that ghosts exist. "Ghost hunters" is one of those scam shows.

The bottem line is that the super natural does not exist and the reality is people are not aware of how powerfull their own brain chemistry and immagination can be.

Cap, we really simply want YOU to recognize that it is all in your head and once you realize it for what it is, you will understand what we are saying.

I know all about how neurons firing in your brain can bring up hallucinations.  There are also studies I've heard of where they figured people were lying because there was no evidence of such happenings in their brain and yet they claimed to see stuff.

My question to you is do you have some sort of evidence to show us that you were actually hallucinating that? 

I know in your head there's no other possible explanation, that doesn't mean there's not. 


caposkia
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Nordmann wrote:Reading the

Nordmann wrote:

Reading the case "for" religious belief here,...

I just lost everything I was typing as a response to this post, I'll greatly shorten it.

I thanked you for trying to come up with an excuse for me, but it doesn't hold water for my belief. 

Simply put, I'm on here to challenge what i know.  So far the explanations of why I'm wrong have been... well, humorous at times.

I can't fart a car out of my butt... therefore God doesn't exist

You're afraid of the truth... therefore God doesn't exist.

Etc..

To make my original post much shorter.... stop coming up with excuses for me.  I don't need them.  Instead just explain to me why I'm wrong.

Nordmann wrote:

PS

"Ball lightning", by the way, while indeed a mysterious phenomenon in that it is not fully understood, is not analogous with semantically fallacious assertions such as "spirituality". The former is hampered in its understanding by a reliance on infrequent reliable observation to facilitate study, but even this imperfectly accrued input data has produced rather convincing scientific deduction concerning its nature (not least that the phrase encompasses probably half a dozen separate phenomena casually assumed in the past to be the same). The latter assertion defies scientific explanation because it is a subjectively expressed assertion about which even the asserters cannot agree on a common semantic meaning. The comparison between the two concepts is therefore tenuous and based totally on the fact that they both confuse and impress ill-informed people. Science would have us better informed. Religion balks at that prospect since it depends on the wilfully ignorant assumption that such analogies exist.

 

I know what side I'm on.

Science and at least Christianity go hand in hand.  Nothing in factual science disproves God.  If it did, there would be no debate


Jormungander
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caposkia wrote:I'm not sure

caposkia wrote:

I'm not sure what you're saying here. Are you saying that because Mohammed claimed that Jesus was just another prophet, then Mohammed is a liar? Surely you must realize that a Muslim would say that Jesus is a liar for claiming divine descent. And who would blame that Muslim? If I claimed to be divine, I'm assuming people might have a problem with that.

I know that this is super-late to be responding to this, but I'm pretty sure that Muslims think that the New Testament is a book of lies. They think that Jesus was an honest prophet, but after his death people wrote down obviously untrue things about him. I suppose in some sense I agree with them on the whole 'people made up the New Testament' thing. So Muslims don't neccessarily think Jesus is a liar, but they are pretty sure that some early Christians were liars.

But there are lots of different Muslims with lots of different views. Maybe some do think that Jesus was a liar.

"You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours."
British General Charles Napier while in India


caposkia
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Jormungander wrote:I know

Jormungander wrote:

I know that this is super-late to be responding to this, but I'm pretty sure that Muslims think that the New Testament is a book of lies. They think that Jesus was an honest prophet, but after his death people wrote down obviously untrue things about him. I suppose in some sense I agree with them on the whole 'people made up the New Testament' thing. So Muslims don't neccessarily think Jesus is a liar, but they are pretty sure that some early Christians were liars.

But there are lots of different Muslims with lots of different views. Maybe some do think that Jesus was a liar.

It's possible.  I've heard that excuse as well, but there are other sources outside the Bible that coenside with the stories.  the fact that there are many sources that were familiar with each other leads a little more reliability to the stories. 

The fact that the Muslims can accept Jesus as a prophet and yet can deny literally all the historical stories about him shows the inconsistencies.  Even if you get down to the simple idea of Jesus' mission.  Jesus said "follow me".  Muslims do not, therefore go against his teachings just by not following him.